Jam Jam Cake – inspired by one of Newfoundland’s most favourite cookie treats from the locally iconic, Purity Factories. It’s Newfoundland’s answer to the Victoria Sandwich Cake!
Spouse and I had lunch recently at The St. John’s Fish Exchange, as we carry on our quest for great fish and chips joints here in St. John’s. I can report that their fish and chips was very good indeed and the view from our harbour-side table made the experience all the more pleasurable.
The dessert specials looked promising and we could’t help but be intrigued by one offering, a slice of Jam Jam Cake. What a clever idea, I thought. The server offered nothing in the way of description, nor did I inquire, which probably was a mistake.
The cake I envisioned ( and hoped for ) was a sort of Newfoundland version of a Victoria Sandwich Cake. I expected a molasses cake to echo the two soft molasses cookies in a Purity Jam Jam and the middle to be filled with Purity Partridgeberry Apple Jam. Perhaps even, the cake would have a sprinkle of icing sugar as a tip of the hat to the Victoria Sandwich Cake.
That definitely wasn’t what I got. The cake that was served was actually, at its heart, a pretty good dense vanilla pound cake, with buttercream frosting and garnished with a half a Jam Jam. Not at all what I was expecting.
What really put it over the top for me though, was that the layers of pound cake were soaked in straight-up Purity syrup. This addition seemed like a strange choice to me and took the dessert too over the edge, making it far too cloyingly sweet. Purity syrup is as close to liquid candy as you can get, and really has nothing to do with Jam Jams. Shouldn’t there have been some jam in a Jam Jam Cake?
I determined that I would make my own vision of a Jam Jam Cake come to life!
First, I set out to make a soft and tender molasses cake, which actually had enough molasses in it to be able to discern the flavour immediately upon tasting. I mixed up the technique, ingredients & proportions a little for my White Velvet Cake to bring my Molasses Cake to life and it was a great success. The cake baked up absolutely beautifully. I was so pleased.
Initially, I thought about using my own Partridgeberry Apple Jam for this recipe, and undoubtedly will in the future (see recipe note), but for the purposes of expedience and convenience, Spouse picked me up some of Purity’s own version at the store this morning. I was really anxious to taste this cake!
I quickly cooled and filled the cake and even sprinkled on a little icing sugar like I originally imagined it would look like. It was hard waiting to take the photos before I dived into the cake!
I was not disappointed! The molasses flavour came through, the cake was soft & moist and the partridgeberry apple jam complimented it all beautifully. Success!
Like this Jam Jam Cake recipe?
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- 1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup fancy molasses not cooking molasses
- 1 cup partridgeberry apple jam or any red berry jam you like
- icing sugar (powdered sugar) to garnish (optional)
Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder & salt. Set aside.
Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans and line the bottom with 2 circles of parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, butter, brown sugar and vanilla.
Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
Beat the eggs in one at a time.
Mix together the milk and molasses until well blended.
Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the molasses/milk combination.
I always add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 divisions. It is very important to begin and end the additions with the dry ingredients.
Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the two prepared cake pans.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Spread the jam between the layers and sprinkle a little icing sugar on to to garnish if you like.
One Note I would like to make is about using the Purity Jam. It's been a quite a long time since I purchased this product and I remember it as being a firmer set jam. This was definitely on the soft set side. It turned out fine, but it did tend to seep out the sides after a little time. If you can, make your own jam to a firmer set, or purchase a red berry jam that is firm set with pectin for a cake that will stand up better. The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.
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